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I Always want to Be Pursuing Creativity


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Often having been developed for use by younger generations, most IT services and smartphone apps can be difficult to use for elderly people. In 2016, recognizing the need for apps that take into account the way seniors use smartphones, Masako Wakamiya began learning the programming language Swift, before releasing her iOS game “hinadan” in February 2017. She was selected to participate in the scholarship program of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 (WWDC2017). In his keynote speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced her as the oldest developer at the conference at age 81.
Despite having no previous experience in IT or programming, Wakamiya decided to buy her first computer after her retirement at the age of 60 so she could “connect with more people.” In 1999, as the internet was beginning to take off, she was involved in the creation of a website aimed at elderly people called Mellow Club, where she launched the Mellow Denshokan – a project to archive the accounts of those who had lived through the Pacific War. In 2005, the project was awarded the Culture Prize at the Japan session of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society.
Wakamiya believes that it is important to enjoy what you are doing, even when you face setbacks. She demonstrates that IT can be learned by anyone regardless of age or experience and that through the use of technology anyone can get involved. This prize is awarded in recognition of her limitless energy for taking on new challenges and also the expectation of further success in the future.

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I Always want to Be Pursuing Creativity

  1. 1. I Always Want to Be Pursuing Creativity Masako Wakamiya
  2. 2. What I’ll Be Talking About Today ★ Who I Am ★ What I’m Creating
  3. 3. ◆ Who I Am (1) I was born in April 1935. Since graduating high school until retirement, I’d worked at a bank. After retiring, I’d been taking care of my mother and enjoying spending time with my generational peers at the Mellow Club.
  4. 4. ◆ Who I Am (2) The Mellow Club has enabled me to stay abreast of a wide range of information and helped me to make many good friends. The computer has given me wings. These wings have taken me out of the confines of my home and into a wider world.
  5. 5. ◆ Who I Am (3) 10 years after retirement, my mother passed at the age of 100. That’s when I started teaching computer class at home, so that people of my age group can also experience the joy of using a computer. I found that there weren’t many computer textbooks designed for seniors, so I decided to make my own. One of them is “Excel Art.”
  6. 6. ★ What I’m Creating Excel Art
  7. 7. Use the function "fill the cell" or "paint color"
  8. 8. Use the function “fill the cell” or “paint color“ 2
  9. 9. Use the function "fill the cell" or "paint color“ 3
  10. 10. Use of the Fill’s “Pattarn Function“ 4
  11. 11. Use of the Fill’s “Pattarn Function“ 5
  12. 12. Use the “Ruled line" or “Border"
  13. 13. Use the “Ruled line" or “Border“ 2
  14. 14. Works that made Excel Art 3D (by microsot 3D builder)
  15. 15. Works that made Excel Art 3D 2
  16. 16. Examples of goods using Excel Art designs
  17. 17. ★ What I’m Creating A pendant with 3D printer
  18. 18. How to make a pendant with 3D printer? First, I made a design drawing with free software. Next, I made a pendant by using the 3D Printer of the town's studio.
  19. 19. an Game App called “Hinadan.” ★ What I’m Creating
  20. 20. The Reason Why I Made the App Increasingly more seniors are using smartphones and tablets. But there aren’t many apps that seniors can enjoy. Game apps are especially hard to find. I asked a young developer to make one, but my request was not fulfilled. However, there was someone that taught me how I could make one myself.
  21. 21. Why I Chose “Hinadan” as the Theme 🍑 Girl’s Festival is an annual event that prays for the healthy growth of girls. 🍑 “Hinadan” is a tiered platform for displaying ornamental dolls during the Girl’s Festival. 🍑 There is a rule to how the dolls should be displayed. 🍑 Seniors know this rule so they have an advantage when playing the game against a younger person. 🍑 I wanted to unveil it at the Digital Girl’s Festival hosted by the Broadband School Association
  22. 22. How I Made the App 🌸 I first created a flow chart 🌸 I chose a development software and studied it on my own 🌸 I met with someone that will teach me 🌸 I prepared the content Images (which I asked Setsuko Mineo-san to create) Sound effects Voice recording (I asked a professional) 🌸 I went through the process of registering the app with Apple
  23. 23. Creating the Flow Chart Continue this process until all of the dolls have been placed. Has it been executed? Doll number = location number How the screen would look like when finished 1. Display the words “incorrect” 2. Activate sound effect B. 3. Screen remains the same 1. Display the words “correct” 2. Activate sound effect A 3. Replace the image of the doll and the position. (the bottom part of the screen will be eliminated) Image of “Maro” Bottom part of the screen (where the dolls were) is empty 1. Set the timer off. Display the time spent to finish the game. 2. Turn off the BGM. 3. Display the image of Maro and the call-out
  24. 24. 🌸 Selecting the development software: Apple’s “Swift” Creating the Flow Chart
  25. 25. 🌸 Prepare to learn remotely My teacher was Mr. Koizumi living in Miyagi prefecture.
  26. 26. I simply started to “try making it” ❁ I only learned coding that were directly needed for “hinadan”. ❁ I prepared to be registered as a developer while developing the app.
  27. 27. 🌸 Images (asked Setsuko Mineo-san to create)
  28. 28. I was a long time Windows user until then, and had only just purchased MacBookAir. I was not familiar with the operation. What was difficult
  29. 29. I learned the basics of coding by apps such as PlayGround
  30. 30. But the development was difficult
  31. 31. Only having fragmented knowledge of coding, it was difficult to develop a comprehensive program that would serve the purpose. Developaprogramthat servesthepurpose
  32. 32. Everything in English, was very difficult Programming, error messages, formalities for Apple, everything was in English. English EnglishEnglish English English English English Program Errors E-mails
  33. 33. Dear Masako Wakamiya, The following app has been approved. and the app status has changed to Ready for Sale: App Name: hinadan App Version Number: 1.0 App Type: iOS App SKU: hinadan 2/24/2017 I received the below notice from Apple Fortunately I was able to release my app
  34. 34. ★ What made me happy Users comments after the app was released ・A senior who had never touched a smartphone before enjoyed the game. ・Thanks to this game enjoyable to 3 generations, my mother, me and my child ・Since this game is fairly slow, handicapped children are likely to be interested. (from a teacher at special needs school) There was an incredible amount of response
  35. 35. Unexpected number of downloads The # of downloads The number of people who check the app at AppStore
  36. 36. In addition to CNN, my story was covered by media in over 40 languages.
  37. 37. napravila-prvu-aplikaciju-za-pametni-telefon/ By Presslogic on 01 Mar 2017
  38. 38. japanese-woman-creates-her-first-app-1028763 Naidunia Egypt Sense
  39. 39. I was interviewed by many Japanese media. List of TVs, radios, magazines and newspapers that I was interviewed
  40. 40. In June, Apple invited me to join WWDC2017
  41. 41. I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Cook, Apple’s CEO.
  42. 42. At WWDC2017 Keynote, Cook CEO introduced me
  43. 43. By the way, the pendant I wored at that time is the homemade thing I told you earlier.
  44. 44. What I want to do in future I want to learn programming thoroughly. I want to make this app multilingual. Ideally, I want to create a new game app. I want this app to be something that can be enjoyed by both handicapped people and seniors, while also helping handing down the Japanese traditions to the younger generations.
  45. 45. ◆ Reason why I want to be creative I think that act of creating things is the most humanlike activity, something that AI cannot do. That is why I want to be creative. Thank you for listening. Masako Wakamiya